By Jamie Miller
Grand Rapids Community College’s President Bill Pink hosted a virtual Coffee and Conversation for faculty and staff Tuesday afternoon.
Pink started with an overview of GRCC’s fiscal year, which ended June 1, and is different from the state’s which ends Sept. 30. Pink also spoke of how Michigan’s aid took a hit of 11%, or around $2 million.
“For the school year of 2021, we have budgeted for a 3% average reduction in billing units,” Pink said of projections the college made prior to the pandemic. However, as of right now, enrollment is down 19%.
“We are seeing that number come down (but) 19% friends is not where I needed to be though,” Pink said, while adding that the percentage was even higher in prior weeks and they have been “cutting away” at that number.
Pink went on to explain the difference between online, hybrid, in-person, and virtual classes. Online classes will never meet in person or virtually, hybrid classes will meet both in person and online, and virtual classes will have online class meetings. Pink expressed his appreciation to the GRCC staff for their hard work in gearing up for the fall semester with the significant changes to delivery mode.
GRCC has worked to meet the needs of their students throughout the coronavirus pandemic that closed the campus in March. The college has distributed 922 food packages, with events like the “drive-by” food drive, to date with the help of 22 volunteers. The packages contain non-perishable foods in addition to a bag of frozen food. Plainsong Farm has donated fresh produce, and personal hygiene items such as toilet paper and soap have also been donated.
Pink also discussed how GRCC has been renovating buildings including the Mable Engle House which has now been renamed to Steven C. Ender Hall in honor of the former GRCC president. In addition, Pink welcomed the new trustee Daniel Williams and mentioned the virtual commencement ceremony the college will be hosting on Aug. 1.